A call for "strong" multimodal research in institutional theory

Tammar B. Zilber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


How can we take multimodalities (the discursive, material, spatial, visual, emotional, embodied, etc.) of institutions seriously? In contemplating the implications of the "multimodal turn" (broadly defined) for institutional inquiry and theory, I first situate it within its intellectual current in the social sciences more broadly. I then use three ethnographic vignettes from Israeli high-tech conferences, all centering on "place" (as a - presumably first and foremost - geographical and material reality) to highlight the shortcomings of a "weak" multimodal approach and the promise of a "strong" one. Finally, I suggest ways to capture multiple modalities within an integrated account and discuss the challenges entailed in an institutional inquiry undertaken to acknowledge, and conceptualize, non-linguistic realities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)63-84
Number of pages22
JournalResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

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Copyright © 2018 by Emerald Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.


  • Multimodality
  • Place
  • Space
  • Strong and weak multimodal approaches


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